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The Signals You Send

To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; to be credible we must be truthful. Edward R. Murrow 


Children change everything. Have kids, and your every word and behavior come under watchful eye. 

If youre a parent, you remember how your small toddler could parrot your every word—and sometimes, it was the careless word you let slip that the child would seize upon to perfect!  

Then theres the studious adolescent who recognizes from the backseat—and doesnt hesitate to point out—that the speed limit signs say 55, but youre rolling … a little faster. 

The last place you ever want to stand as a parent is on the platform of “Do as I say, not as I do.” When you toe this moral precipice, youre toast.  

Perhaps youve read the “Id Rather See A Sermon” poem by Edgar Guest. It observes: “The eyes a better pupil and more willing than the ear. Fine counsel is confusing, but examples always clear.” 

In the gospels we often read statements about Jesus like, “The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law” (Mark 1:22). Its moral authority which is in view here—the people observed consistency between what Jesus said and what He did.  

From there, words like these from Jesus carry weight: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34).  

Do what I say, because its also what I do.  

Jesus consistent example, His moral authority, allowed Him to admonish: “Why do you call me, Lord, Lord, and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46).  

Moral authority allows you to look your children, family members and friends, and co-workers and subordinates in the eye and say: “Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:9). 

Those words were among the last the apostle Paul shared with the church at Philippi, who had long observed his words and deeds.  

As Guests poetry rightly captured, “For I might misunderstand you and the high advice you give, but theres no misunderstanding how you act and how you live.” 


My prayer this weekGracious Lord, I have seen and experienced the great consistency between your words and your actions. May it be so … that others would experience such consistency in ME! May the example of my life bless and encourage others!